The Bank of Industry (BoI) in conjunction with the Kaduna State government and Kaduna Business School have launched a business development plan in which they seek to create about 20,000 jobs within the initial four years of the programme. Also, 4,500 small business operators are expected to be trained under the new funding arrangement.
The scheme, tagged: ‘Kaduna Start up Entrepreneurship Programme (KADSTEP),’ seeks to improve the capacity of select SME operators in the state who will benefit from the various loan programmes of the development finance institution.
Apart from benefiting from other loan windows of the bank, under KADSTEP programme, successful small business operators would also have the opportunities to leverage on the existing N1 billion matching fund.
Speaking yesterday during the signing of the deal in Kaduna, the Managing Director of BoI, Mr. Rasheed Olaoluwa, said the entrepreneurship programme would help to boost economic activities in the state through creation of job opportunities.
He said: “The Kaduna Start up Entrepreneurship Programme (KADSTEP) is a sustainable job creation initiative designed with entrepreneurship as the common denominator. The programme is designed to run for 4 years in the first instance and the overreaching goal is the creation of a minimum 20,000 jobs in the intervention period through the registration and expansion of the capacities of about 3,500-4,500 businesses operating across the 23 local government in the state.”
According to him: “The programme is targeting the creation of 3,500 new businesses across the 23 local governments, building capacity for entrepreneurial management among the youth, 100 per cent utilization of funds with the BoI, Bank of Agriculture (BoA) Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN), creation of a minimum of 20,000 jobs and improving the internally generated in the state.”
In his remarks, the Executive Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai noted that his government decided to partner with the development finance institution because of his belief that the purpose of government is to create an enabling environment suitable for job creation.
He said: “We have sufficient confidence in our young people, in their the entrepreneurship spirit, their willingness to take risks and we need to support that by removing any constraint capable of militating against the realization of their potential.
“This is why we came up with this idea. We are grateful to the Bank of Industry for partnering with us to resolve one of the issues that face our entrepreneurs which are finance and financial management.”